Monday 31st December 2018

Team Extreme went off to get first lifts whilst Team Green had a little lie in, made sure that the truck started and then decided to drive to the beautiful town of La Clusaz where there were more green runs. The journey took about twenty or so minutes to get to the town, it was then parking that proved troublesome. It was so busy to the point it seemed that every single person had decided to venture to the slopes at the same time we’d arrived. It was only just after first lifts too! Eventually we found a car park which the truck just about fit in, went down several floors, got our boots on, skis/boards in hand proceeded to walk the wrong way out of the car park by following people we thought knew where they were going. Wrong. In the end we found a lift to take us up to ground level then we had to figure out how to get to the lifts. It resulted in us waiting about five minutes for a bus to arrive so I asked the incredibly rude driver if he went to the lifts and luckily he did. There are many many runs around the town and further afield but sadly some of them were closed due to not enough snow. Back at Croix Fry they had huge snow blowers keeping the slopes in check. Here at La Clusaz, it wasn’t so bad. We jumped off the bus and found the lift entrance to the huge gondola ‘Beauregard.’ It was like being packed in like sardines until we actually got into the gondola. You’d think sitting facing the direction of travel would help my fear of ski lifts but no, I had an overwhelming sense of nausea to the point I actually thought I was going to vomit all over Ollie. Thankfully, despite it being about the longest ten minutes ever, we finally made it to the top.From the top of the gondola there are several runs to venture off onto. The green runs here are long and wide so we started on those. As usual the slopes were filled with fearless kids whizzing last us at break neck speed as I was casually snow-plough turning slowly down the run. Still, my confidence was higher, I hadn’t fallen yet so I was happy. Ollie and Alex were going down the runs together so Nathan and I went off and it wasn’t long before Tom and Danie came to join us. After a while, Ollie and Alex decided to go down into the town for a wander around so the half of Team Extreme and Team Green did a few more goes on the green run before Tom decided I was skiing well enough to conquer a massive blue run.We got back up to the top near the gondola and instead of going left, we went off down the right, following Tom’s lines and not thinking about the sheer drop off the edge, I was doing ok and got down the first part of the ‘Guy Périllat’ run. It was another glorious day. Sadly I wasn’t able to take many photos during the run because a) I was too rigid b) I was going a bit too slow and we wanted to get down to the bottom before sun down and c) if I stopped I probably wouldn’t get going again. Oftentimes Nathan and Danie would whizz off together whilst Tom, who had the absolute patience of a saint, guided me down doing his best to make me a better skier. It got to one part of the run and my right leg just didn’t feel like it was working as I was turning. Turns out that I had actually been skiing without my boots done up since we’d arrived in France. No wonder I felt as if I couldn’t ski haha! Clearly my boots were the sole reason….So there we were stuck on a slope with Nathan doing up my boots because I didn’t want to take them off. The height of laziness methinks. The run consisted of big wide parts and narrower cat runs, which surprisingly was where I actually skied better. After an hour or so, we stopped to take in the views. The run was exhausting but so good. Whilst we were off ‘whizzing’ down the slopes, the others were down in the town and Ollie took the most beautiful photo.So pretty! Eventually we got going again after witnessing a snowboarder stack it down an icy part and my skiing was getting better all thanks to Tom’s amazing patience. Then, we came to the worst part and no amount of compartmentalising, or Tom’s encouragement could prepare me for it.I loved the views from the top of the mogul-filled, almost vertical, horrid part of this run. Somehow, I had to get down it. There were so many people here, some sat at the top, clearly debating how to get down (in my mind that’s what they were doing anyway), some were walking down the side, some were falling, getting up and falling again and then there were the show offs who could easily just get down it (yes Danie you nailed it!!!). Me however, somehow managed to ski up the mountain every time I turned. It was as if I going back to the top of the slope. I was so stiff every part of my body ached. My knees felt like they were going to snap. I lost count of the amount of times I fell. I also lost count of the amount of times I shouted at myself; “Emma stop being so stupid,” “Turn for God sake,” “What the hell was that! I have no idea what my legs were doing.” I was getting extremely frustrated to say the least. After what felt like 24 hours, I eventually reached the bottom….of that part of the run. Tired, grumpy, slightly proud of myself, and incredibly achy, I thought we were closer to the town. No no we weren’t. Danie and Nathan were loving life, able to take photos and not falling arse over tit every five minutes due to being exhausted, however, eventually, finally, we got back into town. I couldn’t get my helmet, skis and gloves off quick enough. Despite all my moaning, it was so much fun! I was however, so tired I wasn’t hungry, nor did I fancy wine (so unlike me), but we were finding somewhere for lunch. It was so busy due to it being New Years Eve. Music was playing, kids were whizzing down the little slope on their toboggans, some landing in the hut, it was a lovely place to sit and chill. Pizzas, chips, wine and beer were on the menu. The others had found somewhere else to eat, Ollie and Alex we’re heading back to the chalet whilst Wong and Ruby came to meet us. Us girls decided to take the gondola up and the ski back to Croix Fry to get the bus back to the chalet whilst Nathan would drive him, Tom and Wong back later on.They has a beer at the top of the mountain, so us girls treated ourselves to one at the bottom…The bus pulled up and we were reunited with Ollie and Alex who had come from Merdessier. Twenty minutes later we had arrived back at the chalet, beer and wine in hand waiting for the boys to arrive. It was New Years Eve and it was time for our BBQ…We had great food, great company and a great location so what could possibly go wrong? We’d sat down to eat at the table as food kept being brought in when the power went out. Complete black out. Our BBQ turned into a candlelit dinner. It was just our chalet too, everyone else’s lights were still on. I ventured outside to see if it was just ours, which it was, before coming back in and letting out an almighty scream to scare the hell out of those upstairs. It worked. It was hilarious. We contacted the host who failed to respond to us and then we also checked the hot tub. So we go outside, and find the hot tub turned on, with the cover half off and no foot prints to be seen. None of us had been out there, we’d made sure the hot tub be locked up when we got out of it the night before, so how the hell does this get explained? “Manigod Murderer,” became the theme of the night. It had to be a ghost right? Of someone killed before, lingering around, haunting a group of 8 friends on New Year…it didn’t deter us from our food though, or chilling in the hot tub either.Music, a sky full of stars, plenty of food and drink, we were missing two people on the trip, but we were having an amazing time seeing in 2019. Satisfied we had made enough use of the hot tub, it was time for Prosecco pong before watching the fireworks (at 1am due to being an hour ahead) in London on the TV.I have to say that this was possibly the best New Years Eve yet and I hope you all had a good one too…

Until next time…

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